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Florida Drug Defense Attorney > Blog > Drug Crime Defense > Can The Court Order You To Go To Drug Rehab Even If You Don’t Get Criminally Charged?

Can The Court Order You To Go To Drug Rehab Even If You Don’t Get Criminally Charged?


If you are a millennial, you probably remember Bam Margera from his role on the MTV stunt show Jackass in the early 2000s, but if you are younger than that, you most likely know him only from the tabloid news stories about his struggles with alcohol addiction.  Most recently, The Daily Mail reported that police transported him to a rehab clinic in St. Petersburg, Florida after receiving a call that he was emotionally distressed.  The police did not, however, arrest Margera during this incident.  How is this possible?  Emotional distress is not a crime, and a police car is not an ambulance.  Like so many things involving addiction and the law, a lot depends on individual circumstances.  If you are facing drug charges, or if your family is pushing you to go to rehab and you are wondering about the legal implications, contact a Florida drug offense lawyer.

Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment in Criminal and Civil Cases

Many counties in Florida offer pretrial diversion programs through drug courts.  In these programs, people charged with nonviolent drug crimes, especially those with no prior criminal convictions, can get their charges dropped if they comply with the requirements of the program, which often involve court-ordered inpatient or outpatient treatment of substance use disorder.

Court-ordered drug or alcohol rehab sometimes plays a role in family law cases, too.  Specifically, if one parent has a history of placing children in unsafe situations related to drugs or alcohol (such as keeping illegal drugs in the house or driving drunk while the children are in the car), the court might order supervised parenting time for that parent, even if the parent was never arrested or convicted of child endangerment, DUI, drug possession, or any other crime.  (Remember that the standard of evidence is lower in civil cases than in criminal cases.)  The parent may need to complete court-ordered rehab in order to restore their unsupervised parenting time.

The Marchman Act

Outside of criminal court and family court, it is possible for concerned family members or friends of an adult to petition the court to order the person to enter an addiction treatment program.  The law governing this is the Hal S. Marchman Act of 1993.  If the person who needs rehab is your son, daughter, spouse, sibling, or parent, you may file the Marchman petition single-handedly.  If you are not a close relative of the person, you must get two other adults to sign the Marchman petition with you.  The court can order the person to go to inpatient rehab for up to 60 days.  This is likely what happened with Bam Margera this fall.

Let Us Help You Today

A criminal defense lawyer can help you get court-ordered addiction treatment instead of jail if you are being accused of drug possession.  Contact FL Drug Defense Group for a consultation.




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